Educating Your Home
Switching on lights with an app or watching the living room via a netcam is fascinating technology but it only scratches the surface of what is possible with a fully integrated home.
Anatomy of a Smart Home
The Central Nervous System
Z-Wave is the leading smart home technology found in millions of products around the world. It is a wireless technology that will not interfere with your Wi-Fi signal and operates on low power. When Z-Wave technology is utilized inside everyday products such as locks and lights, these products become “smart” – giving them the ability to talk to each other and enabling you to control the devices and thus your home, from anywhere.
The Z-wave protocol was established in 2004 and quickly became the industry standard for home automation. Network Wide Inclusion (NWI) was developed to make the installation of new devices into a Z-Wave network easier. NWI will use the existing devices in your Z-Wave network to route the information about the new device being added, to the controller that is handling the inclusion process. NWI started to appear in devices in 2011, and a large number of the total devices in your network as well as your inclusion controller, have
to support NWI for the technology to work. The Explorer Frame technology started appearing in 2013. It is used when the regular Z-Wave routing fails, perhaps because a Z-Wave node was unplugged or it failed. All devices with the Z-Wave Plus mark will have NWI and support for Explorer Frames.
The Brains Behind it All
Every network is created with a primary controller. The primary controller is responsible for adding and removing devices to the network.
● A gateway controller often (but not always connects to a Local Area Network (LAN) and provides Z-Wave control in the home and from mobile interfaces such as an iOS device or Android phone
● Gateway controllers allow for advanced network maintenance functions, lock communication setup, and some provide interfaces to other technologies
● Z-Wave is a 900MHz radio frequency mesh network communication technology which allows devices in the home to work together
● A key advantage of Z-Wave is that all Z-Wave devices can be added to any Z-Wave network
● Z-Wave is a communication standard at both the radio and protocol level. This ensures all Z-Wave products can work together
● Being a mesh network, Z-Wave uses other devices already on the network to deliver messages from one device to another. This applies to all devices that are plugged in or permanently powered. Battery devices do not repeat messages.
● The more devices that exist on a Z-Wave network, the better the network coverage
● To achieve Z-Wave certification, a Z-Wave device must be able to achieve 131’ open air communication
● Due to construction materials and large metal objects, plan on typical installed communication distances of 30’ to 35’
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The Five Senses
Z-Wave provides peace of mind so you know your home is secure, no matter where you are. A Z-Wave smart home can save you money with energy savings – no more lights being left on or AC running on high when you’re not home. Z-Wave is synonymous with convenience. With the touch of one button you can shut down your house when you leave – lock the doors, turn off lights and close garage door. Z-Wave means security – knowing you’ll receive an alert if there is any trouble at home – water leak, fire alarm, potential break-in, or more.
Learning New Ways to Talk
The Z-Wave chip continues to be developed at an exciting pace, generation after generation improving upon the core technology, generation after generation improving upon just how perfect the Z-Wave chip is for home automation. Z-Wave takes another leap forward with release of Z-Wave 500 series, a next-generation upgrade to the Z-Wave chip and Z-Wave module. The 500 series of Z-Wave has been developed as an upgrade to both the predecessors. End users and consumers won’t directly see the differences between the different Z-Wave chips, but they’ll certainly see the benefits inherent in the 500 series.
A few benefits of the 500 series chips are:
• Network-Wide inclusion
• OTA or Over The Air Updates
• Increased Bandwidth
• New Skills with IR learning/generation
Home Insurance Savings
A Longer Light
A light bulb can last 2.28 years (or 20 times) longer when dimmed 50%.
Join the Crowd
12 million home automation systems are expected to be installed in the US by 2016.
Peace of Mind
Along with security comes greater peace-of-mind and flexibility, for parents in particular. Live video feed into the home and automate home functions, such as lights, locks and TV allows you to ease your mind.
- Homes with Smart Tech 28% 28%
- More likely to by home with Smart Tech 81% 81%
- Smart Tech makes my life easier 87% 87%
- Smart Tech makes home more secure 50% 50%
What Homeowners are saying
Automating your home is fun and exciting, and the possibilities are limited only by your imagination! Here are some of the options available for customizing your own connected smart home. Start out slowly, build onto your current system, or incorporate all these systems into a new construction project! The choice is yours!